01:14 - Source: CNN
Trump: My employees are having problems with Obamacare

Story highlights

A government report revealed Monday that Obamacare premiums could increase 22% next year

Donald Trump discussed the hikes during an impromptu press conference with his employees

Doral, Florida CNN  — 

Donald Trump claimed Tuesday during an event with staff at his resort here that his employees are having issues with Obamacare – an account contradicted by his property’s general manager – amid the news that President Barack Obama’s signature health care legislation is facing soaring premiums.

“I can say that all of my employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare,” Trump said. “What they’re going through with their health care is horrible because of Obamacare, so we’ll repeal it and replace it.”

The Republican presidential nominee’s comments come one day after a government report revealed premiums are set to rise an average of 22% for the benchmark silver place in 2017. The benchmark Obamacare plan will cost an average of $296 a month next year.

Trump’s comments sparked questions about whether his employees receive insurance through the health insurance exchanges set up under Obama’s signature law, which would mean he does not offer private health insurance to those employees.

Asked by a reporter after the event whether his employees have health care coverage through Obamacare, Trump replied: “Some of them. Most of them, no.”

Clarifying Trump’s remarks, the general manager of Trump’s property in Doral, David Feder, said “99% of our employees are insured through our hotel.”

“Over 90%, without a doubt,” he added.

Feder said all of his employees who work more than 30 hours a week are eligible for the company’s private health insurance coverage and that he presumed only part-time or seasonal workers would have to go through Obamacare exchanges. He said the company “picks up 70% of premiums.”

Trump claimed in his remarks to reporters that the White House was low-balling the increases, which the Department of Health and Human Services announced in a report Monday.

“The White House, our president, announced 25, 26%,” Trump said referring to premium increases. “That number is so wrong. That is such a phony number. You’re talking about 60, 70, 80% in increases, not 25%.”

He did not provide evidence for his claim.

Trump’s gaffe on his employees’ issues with Obamacare came as he trotted out the diverse staff of his Miami area resort and golf club, which flanked him during a photo opportunity with reporters traveling with his campaign.

After taking the stage to cheers while pumping his fist in the air, the Republican nominee touted the “tremendous success” of his Doral property before noting that 80% of the resort employees are Hispanic.

“People don’t know these things,” Trump said.

Trump then urged several of the resort’s staff to “come on up” to the microphone to “say a few words about working for Trump.”

“Anybody? Anybody back here? Come on, come here,” Trump said until one employee accepted the offer. “You want to say – come on up! This guy better say good, or I’ll say you’re fired. I’ll say, ‘Who is that guy?’ I’ll say, ‘You’re fired!’”

The Latino employee in uniform then took the stage to say that “even though I have many issues with my family because I’ve been supporting this man here, I love it and I’ve been so proud to be working in this property.”

“And when he decided to run for president, I (supported) him since the very first day,” the staffer said.

Several more employees – mostly black and Hispanic – soon took the stage to praise their working environment, and several more offered their endorsement of Trump’s presidential bid.

“These are just amazing people and this is what jobs do. Jobs just make lives. And they make people and make families,” Trump added later. “I have so many of these where we have such tremendous successes and the press does not like to write about the happiness and the jobs and the things we create.”

CNN’s Noah Gray contributed to this report.